Funny Face

I returned home from my last lecture and watched “Funny Face” again.  I liked the color photography and its sense of fun, and the use of Gershwin songs.  What I remember most from seeing it the first time years ago were the bookstore scene with Jo talking about empathy, and the staircase scene.  The Think Pink montage was amusing, and “Bonjour, Paris” made the city look like the greatest in the world.  The age difference between Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire makes the plot not so believable, although musicals are not about reality.  She was born in 1929 and would have turned 88 on May 4, while Astaire was born on May 10, 1899.  Jo did some annoying things, like hanging out at the café all day instead of going to work.  When they had that disaster with the water and the wind machine, I thought that was something that couldn’t happen.  That fountain sure was flimsy.  “He Loves and She Loves” and “S’ Wonderful” were great songs that reminded me of movies like “An American in Paris” and “Manhattan.”  Audrey did some dancing that looked pretty good on the screen, although a few moments of her singing made me think that I could see why studio executives had her voice dubbed for the songs in “My Fair Lady.”  Hepburn’s career through 1967 was really remarkable.  She would work again with Stanley Donen on “Charade” and “Two for the Road.”  This copy of the movie was on DVD, and it made me wonder what it would look like on Blu-ray.  The images weren’t sharp.  “Funny Face” brings back a lot of memories of when I watched old movies on television years ago.  I was reminded of this movie recently when it was mentioned in a Supergirl episode.  “Funny Face” had a sense of detail and energy put into each shot.  When you compare it to something like “Lucky Lady,” you wonder what happens with talent and how it can fade.  It was fortunate that Astaire was in this movie at this time, and he was still able to show his talent.  By the time of “Finian’s Rainbow,” he was long in the tooth, and Hepburn wasn’t appearing in movies.  It’s remarkable how Audrey Hepburn has remained popular over the years.  I will always remember the darkroom scene.  Did Astaire have any difficulty is getting that scene right?  It seemed rather tricky.  Some of the people who died on May 17 include Paul Dukas (1935), Henry Jones (1999), Dave Berg (2002), Tony Randall (2004), Frank Gorshin (2005), Lloyd Alexander (2007), Donna Summer (2012), and Guy Clark (2016).  Today is a birthday for Trent Reznor (52), Craig Ferguson (55), Sugar Ray Leonard (61), and Bob Saget (61).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 17, the Fifth Dimension’s “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)” was the Number One single in 1969.  In 1975, Mick Jagger smashed his hand through a window in Gorman’s restaurant in Long Island, and he required twenty stitches.  In 1992, Lawrence Welk died at age 89 in his apartment in Santa Monica.  In 2004, Tony Randall at age 84 died in his sleep in New York.

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